Two Birds Brewing’s tasting room ‘The Nest’ is in Spotswood.

Sam Pfeiffer

Whistler Wines, BAROSSA

2022 is a big year for the Barossa’s Whistler Wines. It marks the winery’s 25th anniversary, and also sees second-generation Sam Pfeiffer take the reins from his parents, shifting Whistler Wines into the next gear. We asked him what’s in the pipeline for 2022 and beyond.

Tell us about the new wine labels and branding.
I wanted to create a range of wines that not only showcased the evolution of our brand, but also highlighted the fact that these wines are handcrafted, small-batch, minimal-intervention wines from vineyards using organic and biodynamic practices. The hands and the moon symbolise our handmade, sustainable approach to winemaking. Every wine then has three key elements that are either part of the story or connect the wine to us and our property.  

What’s your winemaking philosophy at Whistler?  
We make all of our wines with a minimalistic approach. Starting in the vineyard, we run our 15ha using organic practices (since 2013) and biodynamic practices (since 2017). When we do buy fruit, we aim to source from growers using the same philosophies. From a winemaking perspective, we’re pretty old-fashioned; small-batch, open ferments and either hand-plunging, foot-stomping or gentle pump-overs. We basket-press almost all the reds and try not to make adjustments if we don’t need to. Sulphur is kept to a minimum and we bottle without fining agents, so all the wines are vegan-friendly. At the end of the day, aromatic, clean, fresh, and vibrant wines are what we hope to achieve.  

What values will you take from your parents and continue to focus on?  
My Dad, Martin, spent his whole career in the vineyard so we strongly believe that vineyard and soil health play a massive role in making great wine. My parents are also very environmentally conscious, so continuing to be as sustainable as possible – not only on the property, but also with our packaging and production – is something we will develop.  

Are you launching any new products?  
The new Crafted range will replace our Next Gen range that we have. The styles will remain the same, but some of the names and all the packaging will change. We will continue to make our Estate range of reds, which consists of a cabernet sauvignon, shiraz cabernet and shiraz. These have also had a full rework of the label and we will launch them in the next few years. We’re also working on premium 2021 Shiraz that will be an elevation of our Estate Reserve.